How to Get the Most From Social Media Analytics Software

Heather Satterfield Heather Satterfield, Marketing Manager

Most businesses today understand the importance of maintaining a strong presence on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and perhaps others. In order to get the return you want, however, it’s necessary to consistently track your results. This requires certain tools. Social media analytics software gives you valuable insights into the results of your campaigns. Only by tracking data across social media platforms can you understand what is and isn’t working. Let’s look at why acquiring this type of software makes such a big difference for your business.

The Advantages of Dedicated Software for Social Media Analytics

If you use social media for your business, you probably pay attention to at least certain metrics such as page views, likes and shares. You can find this type of information right on social media sites themselves. While this is useful, it’s really only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to collecting useful data.

Here are some reasons why you should use dedicated software for this purpose:

  • Helps you create the best content for your audience. Analytics helps you identify the content that gets you the best results. Understanding this goes way beyond simply measuring likes and shares. You want to know what formats your followers prefer, such as photos, videos, infographics and other types of content. You also want to identify the most opportune days and hours to post. The same content may perform very differently based on the time of day or day of the week you post it. It’s also important to understand what kind of content provides you with the greatest number of conversions.
  • Provides a convenient, centralized platform. Effective analytics is more than just accumulating data. It’s also about accessibility and convenience. If you use multiple social media platforms, as most businesses do, it gets confusing to look up data separately on each one. A dedicated platform makes it easier to get all of your data in one place and compare results. Some platforms provide you with visual data about social media metrics, which gives you helpful insights at a glance.
  • Allows you to perform competitive benchmarking. It’s also helpful to monitor your competition on social media. Knowing what kind of content your competitors post, what kind of results they achieve, and which sites provide them with the best results helps you plan a better strategy for your own business. Sophisticated social media analytics software gives you deep insights into your competitors’ social media strategies.
  • Identifies influencers. There are a few ways that analytics software helps you identify and develop stronger relationships with influencers. You can find out who your strongest advocates are and encourage them to continue what they’re already doing. You can also use social media monitoring tools to identify influencers in your industry with whom you may not have connected with yet. These are people you can follow and interact with and possibly build relationships with. Influencer marketing can provide your brand name with enhanced credibility if they mention you. You’ll want to find influencers who are esteemed by your target audience.

Choosing the Right Social Media Tools

There are so many social media tools, software applications and services on the market it can be confusing to choose the right ones. Do you need one comprehensive tool or several? Is it better to acquire your own software or outsource social media management to an agency? These and other questions can make it difficult to pinpoint the right solution. Here are some guidelines to help you choose the right social media analytics solution for your business.

  • Identify your main goals. Before you can choose the right tools, you need to know what you want to accomplish. List your top goals, such as more sales, more followers, greater brand awareness, or more leads. Be as specific as possible. For example, you may want to grow your Facebook Page, get more B2B leads on LinkedIn, or find influencers on Twitter. The best solutions will depend to a great extent on your objectives.
  • Features and services. This is directly related to your objectives, of course. Once you know what you want to achieve, you can make a list of essential features. For example, you want to make sure the software supports the social media platforms you use and tracks the metrics that are most important to you. You may also want real-time campaign data, regular reports, visual data, competitive benchmarking or other features.
  • Experience and reputation. Every product and service looks impressive if you go by the sales page. You need to look a little deeper and consider the company’s overall experience and reputation. This holds true whether it’s an agency that handles social media accounts or a company that makes software. Consider the professionalism of the website. How long have they been in business? Most importantly, do they have positive reviews and testimonials from credible customers who can be verified? For example, a company that has dozens of verifiable clients is more credible than a startup with no track record.
  • Cost. No matter what type of software or service you’re thinking of using, you need to consider your budget. At the same time, you have to also carefully consider that value and likely ROI. The cheapest option isn’t the best if it doesn’t help you accomplish your goals. At the same time, you need to find a solution that fits your budget. Many social media services offer various tiers of service so you can upgrade as your business grows.

Social media analytics software can make a big difference to your business. It helps you understand your audience and identify important trends, conversations and influencers related to your industry. You can use it to track your competition so you know what others in your industry are doing on social media. Identify the tools that are a good match for your business and start getting more out of your social media marketing campaigns.